Cultural Landscape Report Standards


1.0 Cultural Landscape Report Standards

1.1 A CLR is prepared to minimize loss of significant characteristics, features, and materials when existing information about the physical history and condition of a cultural landscape is inadequate to address anticipated management objectives, when impending development alternatives could have adverse effects, or to record actual treatment.

1.2 The CLR is prepared by qualified professionals based on appropriate methodologies and techniques for cultural landscape research, documentation, and evaluation.

1.3 Archeological records, base maps, and techniques such as soil analysis are used for data on past features and conditions.

1.4 Landscape, architectural, and archeological investigations supporting a CLR employ nondestructive methods to the maximum extent possible; they are prescribed and justified in a task directive that includes a research design and impact analysis.

1.5 Confidential information on the location, nature, character, or ownership of archeological and ethnographic resources is identified and not made available to the public.

1.6 National Register documentation is prepared or amended to address cultural landscape resources identified in a CLR after its preparation, if appropriate.

1.7 All field notes, primary documents, original maps, drawings, photographs, and plant materials gathered or associated with the research for CLRs or special landscape projects are organized and preserved as archival material or museum objects in consultation with the park or support office curator.

All information regarding the condition and assessment of character-defining landscape features is incorporated in the Inventory and Condition Assessment Program (ICAP).


2.0 Cultural Landscape Report Model Contents

For additional information on the contents of each section, see Cultural Landscape Report Deliverables.

  • Cover Page

  • Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Introduction includes five sub-sections:
      1. a management summary describing the purpose of the project
      2. a historical overview that provides a brief historical context for the landscape
      3. a description of the scope of the project and methodology for completing it
      4. a description of study boundaries
      5. a summary of findings

  • Part 1. Site History, Existing Conditions, Analysis, and Evaluation
    • Site History
      • Provides a historical description of the landscape and all significant characteristics. The text is based on research and historical documentation, with enough support material to illustrate the physical character, attributes, features, and materials that contribute to the significance of the landscape. This section identifies the historical context within which the landscape developed, and the period or periods of significance if this has not been done in the CLR or National Register nomination.
    • Existing Conditions
      • Contains a description of the landscape as it exists today including the documentation of landscape characteristics such as land use, vegetation, circulation, and structures. It is based on both research and site survey, including on-the-ground observation and recordation of significant features. The report includes a discussion of existing conditions of physical and programmatic access for people with disabilities. A condition assessment is completed to determine the age, material, composition, and integrity of significant components.
    • Analysis and Evaluation
      • Compares findings from the site history and existing conditions to identify the significance of individual features in the context of the landscape as a whole. Historical integrity is evaluated to determine if the characteristics and features that defined the landscape during the historic period are present. A statement of significance for the landscape is included, and the analysis and evaluation are summarized in the identification of character areas or the development of management zones.

  • Part 2. Treatment
    • Describes the preservation strategy for long-term management of the cultural landscape based on its significance, existing condition, and use. It also includes a discussion of overall management objectives for the site as documented in planning studies or other management documents. The treatment section may address the entire landscape, or a portion, or a specific feature within it. Treatment is described in a narrative text, treatment plan, or design alternatives.
    • Outlines applicable laws and regulations and functional requirements. Specific attention should be given to issues of human safety, abatement of hazardous materials, and physical and programmatic accessibility for people with disabilities.

  • Part 3. Record of Treatment
    • Summarizes:
      1. the intent of the work
      2. the way in which the work was approached and accomplished
      3. the time required to do the work
      4. the cost of the work
      This section also contains copies of the field reports, condition assessments, and contract summaries. It is usually included as an appendix or addendum to the CLR.

  • Appendix, Bibliography, and Index
    • Contains supplemental drawings, illustrations, maps, photographs, technical information, or other support documentation; a list of sources used in preparing the document; and references to material in the document, respectively.

A CLR shall be prepared in accordance with the NPS A Guide to Cultural Landscape Reports (copies may be obtained from the project COTR).


Last updated: January 29, 2016